Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi

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Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi
Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi.jpg
Iranian Ambassador to the Denmark
In office
1 March 1975 – 1 March 1979
Preceded byParviz Sepahboudi
Succeeded byAbbas Amir-Entezam
Member of the Parliament of Iran
In office
15 January 1963 – 14 January 1975
Personal details
Born13 December 1919
Isfahan, Persia
Died1 October 2008(2008-10-01) (aged 88)
Paris, France
Alma materBerlin University
Heidelberg University

Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi (13 December 1919 – 11 October 2008) was an Iranian social activist and politician, who held significant positions, including ambassador of Iran to Denmark during the Pahlavi era. She also served as a MP for three terms.

Early life and education[edit]

Dowlatshahi was born in Isfahan on 13 December 1919.[1] However, her family were major land owners based in Kermanshah.[2] She was a daughter of Mohammad Ali Mirza "Meshkout Al Dowleh", majlis member and land owner.[3][4] She was a member of the Qajar dynasty.[1] Her mother was Akhtar ol-Mulk, daughter of Hidayat Quli Khan.[1] Mehrangiz was the cousin of Esmat Dowlatshahi, fourth wife of Reza Shah.[5]

Mehrangiz studied in Germany and held a bachelor's degree from Berlin University.[1] She received a PhD in social and political sciences from Heidelberg University.[3]


Dowlatshahi worked at the social services organization and at the organization for support of prisoners.[6] She established Rah-e No (New Way) society, which later became part of the International Women’s Syndicate.[6] The society offered training to women and advocated equal rights for them.[3] She also launched adult literacy programs in southern Tehran.[6] In 1951, she and woman activist Safeyeh Firouz met Mohammad Reza Shah to discuss the electoral rights of women in Iran.[7] She was the director of the advisory committee on International Affairs of the Women's Organization of Iran (WOI).[8] In 1973, she was appointed president of the International Council of Women and her term ended in 1976.[9]

She served as the member of the Majlis from 1963 to 1975, being the first woman in this post.[8] She represented Kermanshah at the Majlis for three terms.[10] She significantly contributed to the “family protection law” in 1967 and to its expansion in 1974.[10] She also served as the first minister of women affairs.[11] She was also the first woman ambassador of Imperial Iran to Denmark.[11] She was appointed to the post in 1975.[12]

Later years and death[edit]

Dowlatshahi was the Iranian ambassador in Denmark when the 1979 revolution occurred. She left the country and settled in Paris.[6] In 2002, she published a book entitled Society, Government, and Iran’s Women’s Movement.[6] She died in Paris in October 2008.[6]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1997, Dowlatshahi was named as the woman of the year by the Iranian Women's Studies Foundation in the United States.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Qajar Dynasty (Dowlatshahi, Jalali)". Royal Ark. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Centers of Power in Iran" (PDF). CIA. May 1972. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Sex equality still elusive: feminist". The Age. 6 November 1973. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Dolatshahi, Mehrangiz". Harvard University. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  5. ^ Camron Michael Amin (1 December 2002). The Making of the Modern Iranian Woman: Gender, State Policy, and Popular Culture, 1865-1946. University Press of Florida. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-8130-3126-2. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Nazy Kaviani (28 October 2008). "Mehrangiz Dolatshahi". Iranian. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  7. ^ Ali Akbar Mahdi (October 2004). "The Iranian Women's Movement: A Century Long Struggle" (PDF). The Muslim World. 94. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Oral History interview of Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi". Foundation for Iranian Studies. Bethesda, MD, USA. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  9. ^ "About us". International Council of Women. Archived from the original on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Mehrangiz Dolatshahi, who struggled for the ratification of the "Family Support Law" in 1967". The Feminist School. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  11. ^ a b Darius Kadivar (6 September 2010). "Mehrangiz Dolatshahi First Woman Ambassador of Imperial Iran (1960)". Iranian. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  12. ^ Official Report of Debates. Volume II. Council of Europe. p. 681. GGKEY:49S8UY2XXFL. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  13. ^ "The Woman of the Year. Past awardees". IWSF. Retrieved 30 July 2013.